If you are starting to apply to private schools, it’s important to properly prepare for the interview process so you can give your child’s application the best chance of success.
You are probably aware that you are being interviewed just as much as you are doing the interviewing yourself.
Sounds daunting doesn’t it?
Well it needn’t be, because with a little practice and planning we are confident you’ll ace the process!
Let’s take a look at the sort of questions that may come your way, examples of the types of questions you yourself may want to ask, and some private school interview tips to help make sure you put your best foot forward.
Questions You May Be Asked In A Parent Interview
When you think about a school application, it’s natural to focus on prepping you child.
Admission officers however also want to hear from the parents as well, especially as nobody knows your child better than you.
In addition, they may be interested to know whether your values and philosophy matches those of the school, and in some cases what you and your husband or wife can bring or add to the parent community.
Here are examples of questions you may be asked on the day:
- What do you know about our school?
- What are you looking for in a school?
- Tell me about your child’s schooling to date.
- Tell me about your child.
- How does your child learn best?
- What kind of environments/situations does your child thrive in?
- What kind of environments/situations does your child struggle in?
- How would you describe your child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What qualities do you admire most in your son / daughter?
Questions You Can Ask In A Parent Interview
Now comes the time for you to ask questions, and this can be a fantastic way to show your interest, positivity and enthusiasm for the school in question.
In addition, asking questions will help you to differentiate between prospective schools, and hopefully enable you to select a school that is the best fit for your child.
If you are wondering what are good questions to ask at a private school interview, here’s a list of questions you may want to ask the admissions office:
- What are the school’s admissions process and timeline?
- How will my child be evaluated?
- What are you looking for in students as you make admissions decisions?
- What is the school’s mission and philosophy?
- How much homework is there on a daily basis, and why was this approach taken?
- What does a typical day look like?
- Can you give me examples of how the school helps develop both a student’s strengths and their weaknesses?
- Why do the staff choose to teach at this school, and what do you think they enjoy the most?
- What are the key skills and character traits you seek when hiring teachers and other staff?
- Can you tell me the staff turnover rate and how that compares to other schools?
- What support is available for parents who work – do you offer things like aftercare, study hall, before or after school activities?
- In your opinion, how does this school differ from others?
- How do you encourage well-roundedness among your students?
- What is the school’s approach to discipline?
- How can parents best get involved and support the school?
5 Tips For A Successful Parent Interview
Not sure how to prepare for a private school parent interview, or what else you can do before the big day?
Here are five things you can do that could make all the difference:
It’s easier said than done, but try to stay calm and relaxed during the interview.
Two great ways to help you with this are to be yourself and to remember it’s a 2-way process, which we’ll come on to now.
2. Be Yourself
You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s always wise to be yourself.
Authentic conversations are best, especially as they will help you really assess whether the school is the right one for your child and your family.
3. Remember It’s A 2-Way Interview
You may feel like all eyes are on you and your child, but that’s not the case.
Yes, the application process is a way for schools to select students they think are best suited to their institution, but the process is also a way for you to choose where is best for your child.
So remember that the school is just as much on show as you and your son or daughter are, and this thought alone can help you stay relaxed.
4. Do Your Homework
As an interviewer it can be frustrating when parents ask questions to which answers can easily be found online.
So be sure to do your homework and research the school online, as this will help you not only make the most of the interview, but also show you are serious about your child’s application.
Doing you homework also means think about both parent interview questions and answers for a school admission meeting as well.
5. Schedule A Warm-Up
As with most things, it’s hard to be at your best without a test run.
So a good tactic can be to schedule the interview with your preferred or number one choice school after you’ve had one or two warm-ups with your second or third choice schools.